Category Archives: pest control tips

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Don’t Hesitate to Inspect a Home Yourself- Follow Your Inspector, Ask Questions…

Home inspection professionals are trained to spot problems and evaluate a home’s overall condition. While they have a reputation for being ethical and thorough, they are also still human. Sometimes details escape their attention. Its always a good idea to follow the inspector, take notes, ask questions – its a LOT of information to take in…


If you’re making a major investment in a home, there’s no reason you have to leave 100% of the inspection up to someone else. There are definitely areas you can review for yourself visually; it is best to hire a professional- make sure they are licensed and ask for references. 


Before you sign off on a house, don’t neglect to review these commonly overlooked areas:


  1. roof8Roof: Yes, inspectors will consider the roof condition, but they probably won’t be on top of the roof when they do it. This is one area where hiring a roofing contractor to take a look can be a major benefit during negotiations.
  1. Fences: You might not think there’s much to inspect here, but replacing a fence is expensive. What looks sturdy on a sunny day can turn into a giant repair after the first storm of the season. This is especially true of wooden fences.
  1. Drains: Fill up tubs and sinks and see how long it takes them to drain. If they’re slow, you’ll want to know why. It could be something as simple as a clog, but what if it’s more?
  1. masonry_inspection_serviceFireplaces: Home inspectors will often give these the once-over, but they sure aren’t going to light a fire. If you can, make sure these operate as expected. It’s also a good idea to find out when the chimney was last cleaned and who the owner uses to maintain it.
  1. Heating/Cooling: The time of year might impact how thorough an inspector is with the heating and cooling system. After all, who’s likely to really run the A/C in the winter or the heat in the summer? With such a big ticket item, you want to be certain it performs as expected.

Pricing is directly tied to a home’s condition, so don’t overlook the opportunity to protect yourself from repair bills. Problems present you with leverage in negotiations.

Ready to hunt for a home in great shape? Let us help you with your search. There are all kinds of properties available right now: Barbara & Gregg, THE NICHOLAS TEAM   973-509-2222 ext.1126

Protecting Your Home from Pests In The Cooler Months

When the temperatures begin to dip, humans aren’t the only ones who appreciate the warmth and shelter of a cozy home. Insects, rodents, and other small mammals are also drawn to the comforts your house provides. Ever have a mouse die in a wall? It’s not the sort of smell that one appreciates during the holidays. No one wants an expensive electrical repair when a rat chews its way through wiring in the attic or basement, either. Do yourself a favor and protect yourself from pests this Fall and Winter. Here are some tips:


  1. Inspect the outside of your home for ways animals may sneak in. Often utility vents and areas under eaves have gaps which should be sealed or screened.
  2.  Look for gaps around door and window frames, and caulk or repair those gaps. Tiny entry ways can lead to big problems.
  3.  Examine trees around your home. Are any branches close to or touching the roof? These branches can be pathways for rodents to access your roof and any access ways the roof may provide to your attic, walls, or crawlspaces.
  4.    Make sure your garbage and recycling bins have tight fitting or locking lids. Hungry animals will find those scraps, trimmings, and drips, and they can more or less provide an invitation to come close to the house. It’s not a bad idea to buy containers with latches or locks that won’t interfere with garbage pickup, but will deter most animals. (Raccoons are particularly clever, though!)
  5.  If you have a wood pile for a fireplace or other stove, keep it at a distance from your home. If you’ve been keeping it close to the house because of the cover a roof provides, consider relocating the wood and using a tarp to keep it dry.
  6.  Inside your home, try not to store food on countertops as it will attract flies and rodents. Airtight containers inside of cabinets an drawers is a better bet.
  7.  Never leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight if you can help it. Just like food on the counter, it’s an invitation for bugs.
  8.  Wash your floors with a water and a cleaner. Food residue from spills will attract ants.

With a little prevention, you can keep your home pest free this season. Even with the best protection, pest control can become a necessity, though. If you need a referral for a trusted pest control company, feel free to get in touch with us, we have a list of trusted pest controllors: